New Flight Routes in the Kvarken Region
The Region Readies Itself for Electric Aviation
During the spring, intensive work has been carried out in the electric aviation project FAIR and especially between Skellefteå Airport (SFT) and Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport (KOK) in order to establish a new, scheduled flight route.
On Thursday 9 June, operators from both airports gathered to hold two press conferences with the purpose of announcing the new cooperation, explaining its background, and publishing the timetables for direct, scheduled flight routes between Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Skellefteå, and Umeå.
Operations will start on 15 August 2022 with two routes per week, on Mondays and Tuesdays. The routes will initially be flown with a 19-seater aircraft.
– This measure is a concrete step towards preparing the region for electric aviation. To start with, we’ll offer fossil-free fuel to passengers who want to reduce their climate impact. A complete transition to biofuel is expected as of 2024. A couple of years after that, we hope to operate the route with electric aircraft. Readying the region for electric aviation in this manner is one of the measures advocated by the electric aviation project FAIR, explains Mr Robert Lindberg, CEO of Skellefteå Airport.
The electric aviation project FAIR has carried out extensive investigations in the region. One thing that stands out is that one must build demand for a longer period of time in order to gain profitability for a flight route. An established route is seen as one of the most important preparations before electric aircraft enter the market. Such electric aircraft intended for regional routes will arrive on the market within five years.
– Measures must be taken today for the future. There is already a great deal of cooperation between the regions and a need to further improve east-west connections. In addition, the Kvarken region and the Nordic countries are on the brink of an enormous change due to historically large industrial investments. This causes greater demand on connectivity both for companies, employees, and the region’s inhabitants. A functional and regional electric flight network can help meet a part of this demand, describes Ms Evelina Fahlesson (S), Municipal Commissioner of Skellefteå Municipality.
Societal benefits, reduced travel times, and the green transition with the purpose of reducing CO2 emissions and diminishing the worldwide dependence on fossil fuels are considered the driving factors and greatest advantages. The global geopolitical situation has rendered this ambition even more acute.
– For instance, biofuels are important in the short term until electric aircraft enter the market, both in terms of reduced CO2 emissions but also for creating demand and, consequently, the production of biofuels, Mr Lindberg
Mr Peter Boström (SFP), Chairman of the Jakobstad Region Development Company Concordia and Board Member of the Kvarken Council EGTC, encourages regional operators:
– It’s important that communities, regions, development companies, higher education institutions, the business sector, and others utilize the flight routes. Partly to further increase cooperation and to give the routes long-term viability, but also partly so that we can evaluate the electrified short-route network of the future, something that we believe the Kvarken region is in dire need of.
– This investment also strengthens regional branding. We want to see our region as a pioneering region where we not only talk about the green transition but also have industries that manufacture and develop products and goods that are, in turn, used and applied in practice by the region’s operators, explains Mr Mathias Lindström, Director of the Kvarken Council EGTC and representative of the FAIR project, adding that:
– We already possess the world’s most environmentally friendly ferry that is both gas- and battery-powered and uses locally developed technology – soon we’ll also boast the first biofuel-powered flights and, later, cross-border electric aviation that connects the Nordic Battery Belt together.
Jonair airline will begin operating the route. Regional airports are of utmost importance for electric aviation:
– It’s impossible to improve connectivity without regional airports. Closing down small and smaller airports would today be counterproductive because we know that electric aviation will revolutionize flying and create new flight routes. It will also have major societal benefits in the form of shorter travel times and reduced CO2 emissions, says Mr Stig-Göran Forsman, CEO of FAB Kronoby Flyghangar.
– Electric aviation will drastically reduce fuel and maintenance costs, resulting in highly competitive operating costs that, consequently, provide opportunities for a completely new kind of regional aviation. Welcome to the future – it’s created here and now, Mr Lindberg
For more information, please contact:
Mr Robert Lindberg, +46 70 551 70 75, CEO, Skellefteå Airport
Mr Stig-Göran Forsman, +358 44 236 14 59, CEO, FAB Kronoby Flyghangar
Mr Mathias Lindström, +358 50 918 64 62, Director, Kvarken Council EGTC
The new routes will start operating on 15 August 2022.
The flight departs from Umeå, sets out to Kokkola, from there proceeds to Skellefteå, then back to Kokkola, and subsequently returns to Umeå.
Flights will initially take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Prices starting from 47 EUR for one-way trips.
Book flights at https://jonair.se/
Kvarken Council EGTC
The Kvarken Council is a cooperation platform for all kinds of cross-border cooperation in the Kvarken region. The Kvarken Council operates in the Kvarken region, which is comprised of the three Ostrobothnian counties in Finland and the counties of Västerbotten and Västernorrland in Sweden. The Kvarken Council’s members consist of municipalities, regional councils, development companies, and other organizations from all over the region.
The Kvarken Council adopted its new organizational form as an EGTC at the turn of the year 2020–2021. The Kvarken Council and, consequently, official cooperation over the Kvarken, celebrate 50 years in 2022.
Read more about the Kvarken Council EGTC and its activities: https://www.kvarken.org/en/
FAIR is a first step towards the rapid implementation of sustainable electric aviation in the Kvarken region both in Finland and Sweden as well as in Helgeland in Norway.
The project increases knowledge about electric aviation, researches its possibilities, and maps the necessary needs and technical investments.
Read more flyfairkvarken.com